Brett Gibbs Returns The Favor: Points Out That Steele And Hansmeier Were In Control Over Florida Prenda Farce
from the you-throw-me-under-the-bus? dept
While all of the attention on Prenda lately has been on the case being overseen by Judge Otis Wright in California, we shouldn’t forget about the Sunlust case in Florida that really was probably the start of the fall of the house of Prenda. That was the case with the Abbott & Costello-worthy hearing, in which various lawyers were all trying to distance themselves from the case, with Prenda Law insisting it had nothing to do with the case, despite the attendance of the attorney (who was trying to get out of representing Sunlust), who said he’d been hired by Prenda supposedly as a representative of Sunlust, but who knew nothing at all about the company, and of course the magical appearance of John Steele, who insisted he had nothing at all to do with anything and certainly (oh, no no) was not practicing law in Florida, and was just there because of his general interest in the case. And, of course, the magical testimony of Mark Lutz, the “official representative” of Sunlust, despite not knowing anything about the company. If you haven’t done so in a while, go back and check out the transcript. It’s always a fun read.
The latest in that case is that Graham Syfert, the lawyer representing the defendants, has filed a notice about how they’re fine with dropping the request for sanctions against Brett Gibbs and Matthew Wasinger. Wasinger wasn’t in the courtroom for the crazy hearing, but had been a previous lawyer (hired by Prenda) representing Sunlust who had requested to withdraw after learning a bit about how Prenda worked. He thought he had been allowed off the case when that had not actually gone through. As we noted earlier, Wasinger had apologized profusely and revealed some of what happened with Prenda. As for Gibbs… that’s where it gets more interesting.
As we’ve noted recently, Paul Hansmeier and John Steele have both been trying to throw Brett Gibbs under the bus in the California case, by arguing that Gibbs is the lawyer on the case, and he was in charge of everything. That’s not particularly believable. They pointed to previous cases in which Gibbs made vague declarations about being in control over these cases to argue that, despite Gibbs comments to the contrary elsewhere, they weren’t pulling the puppet strings. Sooner or later, you knew that Gibbs would hit back at being thrown under the bus.
Syfert sought, and got, declaration from Brett Gibbs clarifying how Hansmeier and Steele were the ones completely behind the Sunlust litigation. It’s pretty damning. As Syfert notes in his filing, while this declaration slightly contradicts earlier statements from Gibbs, it seems pretty clear that this is a case of “eventual truth coming to light.”
The contradictions within the statements of Gibbs are indications of an eventual truth coming to light- not a fundamental deception. He has decided to expose the actors that he was referring to in his previous affidavit, and show that the managment of the litigation in this case was handled by both John Steele and Paul Hansmeier.
The declaration itself is pretty straightforward. Basically, Steele and Hansmeier were in charge, and Gibbs was just the puppet.
For example, the decision to file the Sunlust Action was made by Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier, the settlement parameters were given to me by Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier, and it was Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier who gave me instructions concerning how to advise the Florida counsel in the Sunlust Action. Moreover, I believe it was Mr. Steele that was responsible for locating the various Florida counsel to handle the litigation in Florida on behalf of Prenda Law….
I was told by either Paul Hansmeier or John Steele that Mark Lutz would show up at the November 27, 2012 hearing in the Sunlust Action. I believe that it was either John Steele or Paul Hansmeier that made this decision. I was not part of the decision making process which led to Mark Lutz appearing at the November 27th hearing.
In other words, Gibbs is finally starting to come clean. I imagine there will be more forthcoming. At some point, you have to wonder if Paul Duffy is going to break from Steele and Hansmeier as well. So many of the stories suggest that Steele and Hansmeier really managed this aspect of Prenda’s business, even as Duffy was the only official principal of Prenda. At some point, you’d think that it would make sense for Duffy to come clean on the relationship details to avoid being tarred with the same brush as Steele and Hansmeier.